Killing off the libraries

johnboy 21 February 2007 31

Students of history will know that a decline of civilisations can be observed through the reduction of services at the periphery.

So it’s interesting to see on the ABC that the same consultancy report who did for Griffith library is now gunning for more:

“It also recommends that one library at Tuggeranong be closed while libraries at group centres like Dickson and Kippax be scaled back.”

Mr Hargreaves says it won’t be the report that leads him to close more libraries (leaving the way open it would seem, to close more anyway, just without warning the community).

When the organs of the State have withered away does that mean we can ignore their stupid regulations as well?

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31 Responses to Killing off the libraries
miz miz 10:42 pm 22 Feb 07

I read far more books than I can afford to buy – ditto my children. The Public Library Service is a great equaliser. People who don’t realise that probably haven’t stepped into one lately.

I have experienced many days when I haven’t even had the money for a newspaper, let alone a book to read – but I’ve still had access to these via the Public Library. I think I would have gone bonkers without it.

And don’t forget that the internet is A resource, but cannot be relied on: it is massively weighted with American content, and moreover it’s not always easy to distinguish between opinion and fact.

emd emd 4:03 pm 22 Feb 07

My kids aren’t even old enough to read, but they love the local library. It’s a great way to introduce them to mountains of books without spending mountains of money. Plus I love letting them loose to choose as many as they want. Can’t do that at bookshops.

I’ve used libraries myself for uni study, up til a year ago. No way would I fork out the money for all those books that I only use for a few months. And being a distance ed student, the uni library is too far away for practical use.

Local libraries are important. This government really does need a kick up the arse.

louise louise 2:49 pm 22 Feb 07

All those who want super-schools and super-libaries, and shop at super-markets, and eat at super-fast food outlets should go and live in a super-housing estate – 1950’s UK housing estate style.

Come back when you have experienced the social reality of your penny-pinching dream.

Avy Avy 2:09 pm 22 Feb 07

>Anyway the library system needs a re-jig… it needs to be competitive with the internet for information.. even though you could say that the interweb is pretty loose with facts, it is still fast and easy.

Boulderdash – the library needs to change no more than a restaurant needs to change because McDonalds is ‘fast and easy’. The ACT libraries are extremely well patronised. Anyone who’d set foot in an ACT library would know this.

If ACTION was run like the ACT library service, more people would take the bus.

Absent Diane Absent Diane 1:41 pm 22 Feb 07

Going insane, what do you mean by that?

louise louise 12:56 pm 22 Feb 07

Word has it that a lot of decisions come from very ‘high up’, and I have heard the word ‘dictator’ used a fair bit from our long-suffering public servants. As for closing a much-loved and used library without consultation (because he knew the answer) – there’s not much sign of democracy in any of that.

There’s no need to go insane because you don’t like the comparison.

kiwi61 kiwi61 12:56 pm 22 Feb 07

I’m betting they’re going to build two whizz bang huge friggin monstrosities of libraries at the Jerrabomberra Hilton and the Mitchell Youth Detention Centre and we’ll all be invited to share the facilities with the inmates, just like the Gungahlin people have been invited to share the pool at the Detention Centre.
Who says our rates aren’t going to something useful?

Absent Diane Absent Diane 12:50 pm 22 Feb 07

I think comparisons like that are insane. Whether you like the current gov or not.. they are far from being a facist regime or dictatorship.

gurunik gurunik 12:44 pm 22 Feb 07

economic rationalism isn’t.

louise louise 12:43 pm 22 Feb 07

Why is it that closing libraries feels so darn uncomfortable? Has it got something to do with goings-on during the odd Cultural Revolution, Pol Pot’s treatment of the intelligentsia, or perhaps Krystal Nacht?

They’ve closed schools, now they’re looking at libraries, maybe they’ll start to execute teachers next?

Absent Diane Absent Diane 12:04 pm 22 Feb 07

awesome… I used to love the laundry, upstairs is small but good for an intimate crowd.. and the espy is fantastic as well..

Thumper Thumper 11:54 am 22 Feb 07


we’re playing in Melbourne in late March. Five mights at places like the Espy, laundrey, Noise something or other and some other venue.


i’ll put up a post when i know the exact details.

Absent Diane Absent Diane 11:14 am 22 Feb 07

hehe nah not rich.. not even close i do manage my money well though.. so I do buy a lot of books.. the most recent being a book on the excavation of the hobbit in flores indonesia..

The point I was trying to make though is that if people aren’t using the library then it is a waste.. what would be good is if they consolidated the libraries and made a super library with a huge range of books and other research facilites available..

seepi seepi 10:27 am 22 Feb 07

AD you are filthy rich or you don’t read much.

In any case not all books are available in shops – there is quite a gap between new releases and classics.

Libraries are a very useful service for all sorts of people beyond 9-5 wage earners. Eg – they do largeprint books for the oldies and story time for the kiddies. They also offer computers and internet for those who don’t have it at home.

It is very sad that an affluent population like Canberra can’t sustian libraries.

neanderthalsis neanderthalsis 10:06 am 22 Feb 07

Well, In the current climate of declining literacy standards amongst the common folk, closing libraries is a sensible move (indeed the last International Adult Literacy Survey results had 45% of the Australian adult population as functionally illiterate by international standards, NRS levels 1 and 2).

So the Government of the Peoples Republic of Canberra closes public schools, then closes public libraries. If you have an uneducated, illiterate population, why do you need libraries?. I am waiting for the announcement of the book burning ceremony that is sure to follow, haven’t seen a good one since Berlin in the 30’s.

VYBerlinaV8 now_with_added grunt VYBerlinaV8 now_with_added grunt 9:02 am 22 Feb 07

Maybe we could put all the books at the new gaol, or perhaps the arboretum. After all, these things are obviously far more important than services that many members of the public actually use.

Absent Diane Absent Diane 8:55 am 22 Feb 07

So basically libraries are relevant to some (those who can’t afford internet access or to buy books) but irrelevant to most.. those who can afford books and internet access. Given that most kids would have access to school libraries and resources we can disregard them.

I would be interested in finding stats on how many new users actually became members of libraries. I was suggest it was on the side of less economic to keep them open.

I am all for readily available and free information, but if it is not being used then it is a waste of money.

johnboy johnboy 8:41 am 22 Feb 07

You can afford to buy a book, that’s rather the point.

Also the public internet access is a major argument for the retention of public libraries

Absent Diane Absent Diane 8:38 am 22 Feb 07

The libs won’t do any different.. or if they do they will just privatise everything…

Anyway the library system needs a re-jig… it needs to be competitive with the internet for information.. even though you could say that the interweb is pretty loose with facts, it is still fast and easy.

And personally when I want to read a book I just buy it for the most part.

Thumper Thumper 8:10 am 22 Feb 07

BTW, Didn’t these idiots just build the new Kippax library?

Great foresight by these incompetant numpties.

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